Priest criticises most senior Irishman in Rome on marriage preparation

Cardinal Kevin Farrell says priests have no credibility when it comes to training people for marriage

 Cardinal Kevin Farrell, prefect (head) of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, said “priests are not the best people to train others for marriage”. Photograph: Getty Images

Cardinal Kevin Farrell, prefect (head) of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, said “priests are not the best people to train others for marriage”. Photograph: Getty Images

 

A senior priest in Dublin has described as “preposterous, juvenile and destructive,” a statement by Cardinal Kevin Farrell, the most senior Irishman in the Vatican, that priests have no credibility when it comes to training people for marriage. Fr William Dailey also called for Cardinal Farrell’s resignation.

Cardinal Farrell, from Drimnagh in Dublin and prefect (head) of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, said “priests are not the best people to train others for marriage”.

The cardinal, who is behind the World Meeting of Families in Dublin next month, was speaking in an interview with Intercom, a magazine published by Ireland’s Catholic bishops.

In a tweet Fr Dailey, director of the Notre Dame–Newman Centre for Faith and Reason at University Church on Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green, described what Cardinal Farrell said as “preposterous, juvenile, and destructive”. He continued: “It seems to me to merit his resignation from a post he’s perhaps not insightful enough to hold.”

In follow-up tweets Fr Dailey said he was “flabbergasted that a Cardinal in his post would say something that is so false and destructive. Many couples have reported to me that our conversations were fruitful, and have returned to keep them going long after the wedding reception was a distant memory.”

It was possible, he said, “the Cardinal lacks credibility to talk to married people; far be it from me to challenge his self-indictment. But his undermining of the work of many is manifestly false, unjust and counterproductive.”